Internet Marketing Blog

Online Marketing Advice, Tips & Strategies

How Entrepreneurs Can Avoid Social Media Liability

Every small or big entrepreneur is aware of how their company can grow by monetizing the valuable digital marketing tool – Social Media. Today, it has become one of the main marketing tools for the growth of a company because it offers a superior potential to generate leads and improve rate of investments (ROI). However, social media imposes legal implications, too. Therefore, it becomes important to avoid mistakes that could lead to a lawsuit against you and ruin your company’s image.

One thing that is pretty obvious is that no matter how big the social implication would be with the use of social media, it does not outweigh its benefit, and hence people continue to stick to it. Here below are three legal tips that will help you stay away from lawsuits.

Alertness

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Five Reasons Why Your Business Profile Belongs On Google+ Rather Than Facebook

1. Having your website linked from your Google+ profile gives it search credibility.

Simple fact. Plus if your business sells widgets, and you post to your Google+ account about your widget blog, and your location is known to Google, then when users search for widget merchants in your area, your site or your account will pop up closer to the top.

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Ten Entrepreneurs on What Makes a Good Investor

If you’re seeking start-up funding for your web business or continuing financial sharing to help it grow, you’ll be interested in this in-depth discussion on “10 Views On What To Look For In An Investor” over at Read/Write.

The answers contain a few surprises, but all of them also illuminate some marketing strategies. For instance, one person values networking – she will always “consider the connections that an investor (or anyone else) can bring to the table over anything else.” All of these are refreshing takes on philosophies of business. (Is that even a thing?). Continue reading

Can Advertisers Still See The Forest For The Trees?

A fascinating and soul-searching read at hand over at the Central Desktop Blog, on The evolution of the ad campaign. It talks about how moving the marketing industry into the web age has led to some advantages, but some disadvantages as well. The interesting point is the lack of “big ideas”.

We don’t see those really inspired advertisers that capture our interest. Instead, everything kind of blends into a slick, over-produced corn mush, with hardly any commercial distinguishable from product to product. Take this away – advertising is all about getting your potential customer to remember your product. If your marketing strategy doesn’t stand out in any particular way, your product won’t either.

6 Deadly Social Media Marketing Sins that You Absolutely Must Avoid

There is no doubt that social media marketing is paying rich dividends to businesses that are using it as a part of their larger marketing plan. It’s also given smaller businesses an opportunity to compete against the big players in the niche. Social media marketing brings with it a slew of benefits, but only if done right.

The problem with a socially driven marketing strategy is that there are all chances of it going wrong. If it does go wrong there are some mistakes that can righted, but there are others from which there is no turning back. Such mistakes are like the deadly sins of social media marketing.

Let’s take a look a these sins that will take your chances of marketing success way down, so much so that recovery will be next to impossible.

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Utilizing Different Personality Types In Business

We’re all beautiful and unique snowflakes, are we not? We all have special skills to bring to the table, each of us good at one thing, none of us better at everything. Online marketing blog TopRank has a post on fitting all those snowflakes into one useful corporate snowman. Don’t you love that analogy?

It raises some interesting parallel discussions about how one could use customer’s personality types to market more efficiently. The Dominant customer could be sold with “Our product will help you conquer the world.” The Influential customer could be sold with “Get things done with our product.” The Steady customer could be sold with “Our product is the same tried, tested, and true solution you’ve come to expect.” And the Conscientious customer could be sold with “Our product is made with quality in mind.” Read more website strategies.

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Skepticism About Internet Marketing News

This post by marketing strategist B to B points out that bad research proliferates online and gives you a much-needed pointer on how to sort the correct information from the mirages. We love this quote: “…where statistics are plentiful but facts are elusive.” Yes, it is true, many marketers out there seem to be able to draw whatever conclusion they want to from any set of data. The industry contains a great deal of spin and hype, and very few people calling it out. For web entrepreneurs, be at least a little bit skeptical and do some research before just giving anybody your marketing dollars. Continue reading

Penguins and Pandas and Pagerank, Oh My!

We’re downright nostalgic for the good old days when SEO work didn’t involve so many animal names. here’s the latest breakdown on Google Panda vs Google Penguin and what they mean to you. It’s a great resource and you should read it carefully, because there’s a lot of half-baked theories and general panic going on out there and this post is a smooth voice of reason.

Let’s try to view the Google Penguin update rationally: Keywords are not dead. Even Google’s own webmaster guidelines advise “Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.” That’s all you have to do. Deep breaths, everybody. We’ll get through this. Continue reading

Will Google’s Reign Of Terror Over SEOs Ever End?

Once upon a time, Google and SEO were at a relative truce. Then Google began swatting at black-hat SEO tactics. Then gray-hat SEO tactics. And now, it just hauls off and clobbers everybody, damn your hat color. The latest news on the Penguin update is just par for the course. It’s just getting to where if you’ve ever made page one ever in your life, Google now hates you.

We’re wondering how long it will be until paranoid conspiracy theories develop in the SEO rank and file. Well, of course, that’s “more than the usual conspiracy theories”. Yet we don’t see demand for the old-school black-hat SEO diminishing in the slightest – the more Google punishes some behaviors, the more people stubbornly cling to them. It’s like a battle of wills between a domineering mother and a rebellious teenager.

He’s Right, This YouTube Ad Is Compelling!

You know what your goal should be with marketing? To make your advertisement so interesting that the user forgot that it wasn’t why they came there in the first place.

This post on Content Marketing Done Right is a good example. There’s one of those ads on YouTube – where you normally sit there waiting for the ‘skip ad’ button to pop up. Except, saith Chris Brogan, this ad is produced so well and hooks you so thoroughly that it’s tough to stop watching it. Continue reading

Fascinating Number Crunching On Twitter CTR

Get ready to take some notes, because Search Engine Journal has a few charts up showing stats on Twitter click-through rates. Most of it won’t be too surprising to you – best time for traffic is on the weekend and in the afternoon.

Some of it is puzzling. Tweets with adjectives, for instance, as opposed to verbs and adverbs, seem to do worst of all in CTR. Perhaps instead of tweeting “our new, improved line of Western snakeskin boots”, you could say “check out these boots, they’re made of snakeskin”. See, one’s a description, and one’s a call to action where the boots have a dynamic role. Or something like that. Are we doing this right?

For experts in optimisation techniques, call SEO Perth today. Continue reading

Google Ratings Guidelines

SEOMoz modestly states “If you’re looking for SEO ‘secrets’, you’ll be disappointed by this post.” Oh, we beg to differ. While it isn’t exactly Earth-shattering or surprising, we found this list of 16 Google Ratings Guidelines to be worth passing along, just because it’s obvious that many of you out there do not know them.

Take for example:

  • Generic Queries Are Never Vital – So why are there so many web entrepreneurs out there fighting tooth and nail over domains like “beer.com” and “vacations.org”? Sorry to break this to you, but most of us expect to find a rather unhelpful domain at a generic.com address, and we’re usually right.
  • Copied Content Can Be Relevant – That’s startling! We’ve had so much bad press about copied content drilled into our skulls that we’re going to avoid it anyway.
  • Ads Without Value Are Spam – Not news to you and I, but breaking headlines to a ton of landing pages out there. We’re guessing they’re all owned by people in third-world countries who haven’t gotten the news.
  • Google Raters Use Firefox – Yay! Not only our favorite browser, but our favorite add-on gets a plug too!

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Strange Search Engine Ruling By United States Judge

In Nevada, USA, a judge has made an unusual ruling regarding search engines. To say the least.

See, Chanel (a fashion and beauty company) was in a fit because counterfeit websites are ripping off their good name. Fair enough. Then they had a court ruling to seize all of the domains (raising an eyebrow here, but possibly justified). But then the judge also ordered “all Internet search engines including, but not limited to, Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and all social media websites including, but not limited to, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter” to remove any index listings for the counterfeit pages.

Uh, your Honour? I’m sure your desk in Nevada doesn’t have jurisdiction outside the USA, so what good will this do at all? You’ve heard of a little company called “Yandex”? It’s kind of in Russia…

Is Google Getting Blamed More Than It Should?

It’s hard to believe that we’re still hearing about Panda. It seems as old as Y2K now. Yet here we are looking at another story about a webmaster sore at Google over it. Search Engine Watch gives us a refreshing reality check: Maybe a site drops in Google’s SERPS just because its junk?

There’s also, at the bottom of the article, a handy list of things to check when your site rankings drop. It’s good to keep in mind that sometimes webmasters throw themselves into a panic when they don’t have to. We’ve seen web-workers at lunch with a laptop: They order lunch, hit F5, pay the cashier, hit F5, take a seat, hit F5, and they go “Whoa! We dropped three places!” and out the door they run while we watch their sandwich get cold, or until somebody eats it.

Will Google+ Lead The Way For Erasing Anonymity On The Web?

Search Engine Land reports on Google’s latest move in its attempt to horn into the social networking banquet, where they’re going to start verifying an account identity. The chatter about this one is, surprisingly, more positive than you’d expect. While there are still concerns about online privacy, it seems that web users are sick of something else even more:

Trolls, scams, spammers, sock-puppets, and general fools using the whole wide world for their personal playground.

It is true that the state of the web as we know it does lend itself to a hostile environment. Take the case of David Mabus, a Canadian who made a career out of sending thousands of threatening emails and IMs to everyone he saw on the web for more than ten years. He has just now been arrested. If you were on any side of an issue opposite him, chances are you were threatened under one of his many accounts.

Or take Sanford Wallace, the notorious “spam king” of Facebook, who’s now in US authority custody and looking to serve about 40 years.

Can we really measure how much human misery these people cause? Making everybody online have to carry an ID badge may not be the perfect solution, but we just might be ready to sit back and give it a try.

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How Google+ Could Change The Rules Of the SEO Game

In the film Minority Report, we see that advertising in the future is triggered by iris scanners who identify you by eye pattern and use that to have talking billboards address you by name. Our present is getting closer and closer to that science fiction scenario!

The latest musing on Google+ is over at SEOChat, which asks How Google Plus Could Change SEO. There’s a list of features which Google+ adds, each of which have the handy side effect of offering more targeted advertising. Briefly, the list is:

circles – tracks influencers

+1 button – tells user’s likes

sparks – shares interests

profile data – nothing new there

hangouts – group chats, could be targeted for more keyword focus

location data – get to know the potential customers in your area, anyone?

photos – soon to be crawled with facial recognition software
It’s coming! We can almost hear the hologram billboards at the subway terminal: “Jon Anderton! You could use a Guinness right now!” Web Designers Perth Continue reading

Have You Felt The Wrath Of The Panda Yet?

SEO bloggers were abuzz only a few months ago about the mighty Google update. Nicknamed “Panda”, this was the update that was to limit the ranking of low-quality text-farm type sites that clog search results. The new update valid about June of 2011 is Panda 2.2, and Search Engine Roundtable has the dirt on that.

Now, they didn’t specifically come out and say content farms… but it’s pretty clear that they were looking in their direction.

This is actually good news for those of us who work to be both legitimate and high-quality. When we mean “content farms”, we mean the typical empty keyword-stuffing filler content that most of us knew better than to keep using past 1998. All that and more is explained by Search Engine Land, which also goes on to mention ‘scraper’ sites that steal your content and repost it without even bothering to write their own!

Another kind of content is the “article spinner” variety. In this method, there’s an attempt to make robots write like humans. You can spot spinner content a mile away, if you’re a functional English speaker: “This is was good contents method and our are happy to provides it to you to use in or health.” It’s done by scraping content and then implementing an algorithm that changes one word for another. Nice try, guys, but – with a sigh of relief from those of us who write for a living – the tech’s not there yet.

More recently, SEOBook also asked whether that update worked or not. You’re still seeing some farmed content come up in SERPs, of course, but maybe not as much as there was a year ago.

Don’t Panic – Whether You’re Hitch-hiking the Galaxy or Optimizing a Website

We love posts like this that explore the human side of computer-human interactions. In Clients Who Panic – Tips on Calming Their Nerves, some deep Zen is offered to combat the nervous feeling that search engine spiders and other websites are plotting against you.

Because, they are, you know! While you sleep, other webmasters around the globe are spending the night whittling away at your PageRank… they wants it for themselves, the greedy hobbitses…

Those sudden drops in the rankings especially leave an acid pit in your stomach. But the fact is, Google keeps its algorithms secret, and as long as the process is closed, there’s going to be some anxiety. Anyway, changing site rankings are just a fact of life in the SEO game. That’s kind of also why it’s such a fascinating business.

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Are Good Guys Destined to Finish Last?

A very sobering blog post up at SearchEngineWatch, White Hats: This is Why You’re Getting Beaten, about how the bad guys are mopping the floor with the good guys.

(and is anybody else getting tired of the hat metaphor?)

Anyway, as good a point as is made there, we’d like to ask, “Is it really that way?” Because here’s the thing: attracting traffic to your website is all about converting sellers, via ads and point of sale. No matter what, that’s the goal.

Now, no matter how many search engines you fool, the search engine isn’t the one spending the money; a person is. And the person who gets to your site after you’ve rigged the search engine to come up as a false result in order to throw a page full of spam in their face is going to leave angry without spending any money and go someplace else anyway. So really, the ones doing blatant black hat SEO are actually just piddling away time and money anyway.

Kind of like spammers, there’s always the few sites that will never go straight. But they’re getting a lot of false hits and a few legit but very dumb users. Remember, all traffic is not created equal. We’d rather get 5,000 visits a month from the cream of the intellect market than 500,000 a month from bots and dopes.

If You Were Google’s CEO For A Day…

A fun bit of engagement over at Matt Cutt’s pad, asking What would you do if you were CEO of Google?. Cutts admits that he’d think in terms of big projects – starry eyed dreamer, and hey, nothing wrong with that. The comments also have a ball with this bit of day-dreaming.

But we’re the boring old practical idealist. In Eric Schmidt’s shoes, we’d either (a) put even more guns into Android than it has already, or (b) modify a Linux into a desktop OS and push it to compete head-to-head with Microsoft.

Seriously, we’re tired of Microsoft owning the world with a small pocket for Apple and the rest is brave, tiny mites like Linux and BSD up against the Redmond Sauron. We’d just like to see somebody stand up to MS, just so we know its possible. Even if we still use Windows anyway, it would be nice knowing an alternative was ready.

Thinking Like a Google Engineer

How often we, in the web SEO business, chase down every rumor and scrap of information about search engine optimization, especially for Google. How seldom we get it straight from the horse’s mouth. Ok so most SEO consultants will know him, but for those that don’t – may we introduce Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO, a blog by a bona-fide Google engineer.

Chock-full of SEO wisdom, this candid blog should be mandatory reading for every budding web entrepreneur. A great example is the glossary section, with some down-and-dirty dirt on breaking a URL into its component parts, and busting some jargon on algorithms. And note, he doesn’t burble on about meta-tag voodoo and link-exchange witchcraft, he just tells you what’s going on!

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What’s in a Domain Name? Maybe Less Than Meets the Eye?

It’s interesting to see Marketing Vox’s reaction to the sale of the domain sex.com. $13 million may sound like a sexy price, but is it really worth it? Vox says maybe so. We’re going to have to go with “maybe not.”

Now, for a unique brand name, yes. That’s expected. Pepsi had better control pepsi.com, and all the other possible pepsi-dot-anythings out there. Ditto for Microsoft, Walmart, Disney, and so on. We expect that a company that big can afford to control its own brand name, at least that far.

But when you get to generic domain nouns, not so much. Being in the candy business and owning “candy.com” at first sounds like a great idea… in 1998. But who, these days, actually blindly types domains into the address bar? We’d bet nine out of ten users today couldn’t tell us where the address bar is. Hoping to hit Google searches is the next bid, but Google searches don’t always blindly follow the domain name either.

Lastly, ask yourself, when you want candy (and you’re using the web to get it), are you seriously going to type in “candy?” No, you’re going to type “Hershey’s,” “Reeses,” “M&Ms,” “licorice whips,” or whatever your specific desire is. Likewise, ask yourself how many people type “sex” into a search box and hope for the best? No, they’ll type in whatever their specific interest is; “hot coeds,” “online personals dating,” “videos of…” whatever their interest is. Continue reading

When Idealism Trumps Profit – In the Wrong Direction

California may be far away geographically, but there’s an issue right there that hits home for every web marketer. It’s really quite simple: Californians are going to vote soon on “proposition 19,” a resolution to de-criminalize marijuana for personal use. Note, we’re not talking about medical marijuana any more, we’re talking about lifting prohibition altogether.

Who cares? Well, apparently some major websites do. And the way they care is by refusing to run ads supporting Proposition 19. Yes, you heard that right. Not for any amount of money!

Facebook, for starters. They recently forbade even displaying an image of a marijuana leaf in an ad. And it’s quite ironic that we have to link to Wired to report this story, because Wired belongs to Conde-Nast Media, which also owns Reddit.com… And guess who else won’t run a pro-Prop-19 ad?

The Reddit reaction is amusing. Reddit users responded to the ad ban by submitting story after story about Prop-19 – with marijuana leaves festooned – until the entire front page consists of nothing but support for Prop 19. We haven’t seen a social-news-site rebellion like this since the great HD-DVD encryption key code backlash of 2007.

Well, anyway, file this under “know your market.” The web audience is a feisty little critter some days, isn’t it?

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Webite SEO Optimization Strategies You’re Probably Forgetting

We all see dozens of articles targeted at the basic SEO strategies for daily use, but there’s a second set of techniques which we rarely see addressed: the needs of a mature website. If your site is five, ten, fifteen years old or older, and regularly publishes content, chances are good that you have pages on your own website that you haven’t even checked on in years.

You might want to blow the dust off of some of those. After all, you’re paying for the server space to host them and they’re all very well-indexed by the spiders by now. As time goes on, various little instances of webpage rot begin to creep in. here’s some thing to keep in mind if you do revisit those back-roads off the beaten brush:

Dead links. The page was there five years ago, but now it isn’t. This is especially frustrating in the case of dynamic content, blogs, and just active websites. In some cases, the content is still there, but the website you’re linking to might have gone through a major overhaul since then and changed the way it serves old articles, such as changing the URL’s arguments (the parts that come after the question mark). Even a difference of one character can break a link.

Links to blacklisted sites. This is the case where not only is the content you used to link to not there any more, but the whole domain has gone expired and been bought up by a new party, who now hosts adult, spammy, or illegal content. That causes the search engine spiders such as Googlebot to come along and penalize you for linking to it – and here you had no idea! Check your old blog posts for these ticking time bomb links.

Promoting your greatest hits. Remember that great post you made in 2007 that got you to the front page of Digg.com and bumped your traffic? How about a follow-up? You’re probably still getting the occasional visitor from that. You could drop in an update on that post encouraging visitors to check out other content on your site, you could see about making a static URL page there so it’s more prominent, you could revisit the subject to see if lightning strikes again, and you could post your most-visited content in the sidebar throughout your site. Capitalizing on past work beats having to do new work.

Managing comments on old threads. Anyplace where visitors can leave feedback is a potential place for both profit and trouble. You might want to consider instituting a policy of closing comment threads that are more than two years old, if your content is time-sensitive. At least, you should check the links left in comments to make sure they’re not dead or linking to blacklisted content, or making ‘no-follow’ tags for comment URLs. Some comments can also be harming your page by listing irrelevant keywords or gibberish.

Changing needs. Did you post a review of some kind of media, such as movies or games? Did you have a blog post comment on a news story? That content might be so old and irrelevant now that you’d be better off removing it, or updating it for the times. Or you might have keywords optimized right for 2003, but since then the relevant keywords for your target topic have changed. You might even need to update the web page code itself for the changing browser standards.

Now all we need is for Discovery channel to start a show called “This Old Website!”

Google Beat – A Video Log For Hot search Topics

In a move that comments on just how important search trends have become in our modern world, Google has launched Google Beat, a video blog reporting on weekly search trends and what they mean.

This is quite an awesome little development, and we’ll be watching the Google Beat YouTube channel to see where this goes.

This is one of those defining moments when it really hits you that you’re living in the 21st century. Twenty years ago, web searches were barely an explored concept. Sixteen years ago, the Google search engine launched. Four years ago, the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary added the word “google” to their listings. And this year, we have a hostess doing a video segment on the week’s most popular searches, available through a streaming video site.

It’s a pity that we don’t have an international version – so far they only cover trends in the US. However, Google does eventually get around to including the rest of the world. We could see this going to television. Certainly it is more newsworthy than some of the other technology-related content that makes it onto the telly.

Search Engines That Show You A New Way To Think About Search Engines

Have you tried an alternative search engine lately? I know, as an SEO marketer or search engine marketing consultant, you probably groan every time somebody suggests it. Yes, these other have ridiculously small market share. But just remember, the one to watch in the future isn’t Google. The one to watch is the one who’s going to beat Google. It’s only a matter of time. No monopoly stands forever…

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Michael Arrington Thinks That Reputation Isn’t Going To Matter Anymore

Of course, this sounds like both irony and wishful thinking. Arrington both rides a wave of reputation to the bank each month (Techcrunch), being the only technology news source regularly quoted by Reuters and Associated Press, and dies a little on the sword of reputation each night, with the ugly rumours about his behaviour, his controversy for conflict-of-interest situations, and his abominable accuracy record.

But anyway, in “Reputation is Dead“, he makes a case that since it will be possible to find dirt on anyone, then that will mean that dirt won’t matter anymore. That’s the web of Facebook, Twitter, your old blog, what-have-you preventing you from getting that next marketing job. The counter-argument is that everyone will need to buy reputation-insurance. Continue reading

Internet Marketing – Microsoft Can Now Sic The Law On Its Competitors

We’re really trying not to sound like an end-of-the-world conspiracy blog this week, but there’s just been so many stories of dirty dealings by giant web companies that its difficult to avoid. Now there’s new complaints against Google in Europe, by three companies, two of which have ties to Microsoft.

The Google spokes-lawyer responds: “They were a long-time AdSense partner of Google’s, with whom we always had a good relationship. However, after Microsoft acquired Ciao! … we started receiving complaints about our standard terms and conditions.” Well, yeah, Microsoft does like its puppetry. Continue reading

Internet Marketing – A Blog Marketer’s Checklist

Setting up a blog to promote your marketing presence on the web is just half the battle. Once you get going, you have to keep going. But while you’re at it, be sure you aren’t just filling up space without attracting visitors. A few tips:

Fulfill the visitor’s expectations. – Posting regularly is important, as is keeping the content consistent. You want to draw the kind of audience who make best customers, and tailor your content that way.

Make the most of your traffic. – Social bookmarking icons, RSS feed icons within easy reach, and links to the rest of your site will help turn those one-time visitors into regulars.

Archive. – The worst thing you can do to a blog is make the past content difficult to access. Live Journal, we’re looking at YOU! Ditch the clumsy calendar and – Blogger.com, you too – maybe even the year-month-day tree structure too. Lists are your friend.

Watch the analytics. – Learn and adapt new strategies from watching the way visitors access your site. For instance, you might have a very popular image that appears in image search results. How about adding your website name to that image? Continue reading

Five Recipes For Linkbait

Linkbait is the social web term for the kind of content that regularly gets linked from social bookmarking and news-sharing sites. Think Digg, Reddit, Delicious, Metafilter, Yahoo Buzz, and even just plain blogs. The best link-bait is something that appeals to the lazy nature in all of us. After watching the social web for a few years now, here are the kinds of things you might post to your blog to more frequently get visitors from social sites:

Video – Number one with a bullet. Video content is extremely popular, especially if it’s under five minutes. Consider it for your next tutorial of handy tips.

Images – Especially a funny one. Even a vaguely amusing one. Heck, any picture at all. I’ve followed links to a picture of somebody’s shoes – regular ordinary shoes. But I had to click, because I just couldn’t believe that somebody would just post a picture of their shoes! Continue reading

Could September Finally Be Over Soon?

Once upon a time, the web was a frontier of exciting possibilities and intelligent conversation. Then America Online (AOL!) started up.

The influx of American kids logging in from Windows 3.1 machines completely swamped online culture, and it hasn’t recovered since. And long past the time when you thought AOL should have died, it keeps going, like a possessed Energizer Bunny.

Those of you who count on American customers for your web business, you know you have to allow for AOL users in your digital strategy. They still make up a tiny percentage of the web traffic!

Now Time-Warner is going to spin off AOL after having absorbed it 8 years ago. Amongst other ballast they’re dumping, they’re selling off… wait for it!… ICQ.

It takes a special kind of chutzpah to put a $300 million price tag on ICQ, in these days of Twitter hype. Yeah, sure, ICQ will come back any day now! But for a company that got its start as a game subscription service running on the Atari 2600, and has since survived not only the video game crash but the dot-com crash too, chutzpah is its middle name.

Blogging: Seven Dead Blog Tropes

Of course, every website owner with even a passing interest in search engine optimization has had the word “blog” pounded into them until they can’t take it anymore and started a blog. Now, when blogs were first starting up yonder ’bout a decade ago, these tropes were excusable. but now, many of the things that people were doing with them are now tired cliches. Check your blog to see if it’s suffering from any of those symptoms – if so, it might be time for a scraping!

1. Replying to every comment.
You are right that sometimes you want to engage your public. Appending more of your bright, witty banter to the tail of a good, solid gem of linkbait is the sensible thing, especially while you’re soaking up all this adoration. But when you’re responding to every single comment, even if it’s only as brief as “hey thanks!”, you’re saying two things: (1) You have nothing to do. You’re not that busy. Your whole life is this blog. (2) Your ego is so starved that you’re gobbling up every crumb of attention as if it were the last human interaction you’d ever get.

2. Echo! Echo! Echo!
Too many blogs do this. They take the top story of the day and repeat it, with a link and a couple lines of commentary. Remember the “Balloon Boy?” No? Good, this means you have a life. But the day that the Balloon Boy dominated every screen of every TV news channel for 36 hours before everybody got sick and tired of it is commemorated forever in your blog, post #147, a one-paragraph link that contributes nothing and nobody reads. Or searches for it.

3. I’m sorry for not blogging.
Wow, it’s been so long since you updated that when your site popped up in our RSS aggregators, we had to puzzle a moment to remember who you were. Oh, yeah, that site! Oh, so you just brought us back to tell us how sorry you are for not having anything to say. Well, rest assured that your link is now deleted from our browser so you don’t have to worry about letting us down again.

4. The tag stew.
They’re called ‘tag clouds’, and for a while they looked like they’d be the fad that never went away. But over time, tag clouds have shown their failing: they tend to have two, maybe three really big tags standing out like a brass gong in church, and the rest are all the same-size tiny text links. What’s the chef specialty of the day? SEO BLOGGING on a bed of rice.

5. The Blogroll That Links To The Entire Internet.
We know, you love your friends. And your sidebar gives a shout-out to your homies. And you make mates really, really easily. In fact, you’re such a link slut that you don’t even read most of these yourself any more. If you go clicking through your blogroll and find more than five dead sites, just consider scrapping the whole thing.

6. The image that makes no sense.
Somewhere, somehow, a certain demographic of bloggers came along at exactly the right time in history to get it ingrained into their head that they must have an image in every blog post. It’s in Leviticus somewhere. Even if they make no sense. That text looks so lonely by itself, let’s add this cute rubber duckie to spice up our rant about subway fare hires. Oh, stock images! Accompany a post about SEO scoring algorithms with this wildly smiling woman skipping through a field, apparently wafted to blissful nirvana by it all. And what does this set of stairs have to do with your website management post? You could at least toss in a stair metaphor.

7. The calendar gizmo.
Can we be frank? Calendar gizmos all look ugly and blocky. In addition, nobody uses them. Seriously, put a Javascript redirect in there to log a hit every time somebody clicks the calendar gizmo. You’ll get the occasional hit from a confused indexing spider, and that’s it.

An SEO Expert’s Garden Of Lost Search Engines

Who cares about any other search engine but Google? Oh, OK, maybe Yahoo or Bing. But seriously, every single time you read a website marketing blog, it’s Google, Google, Google. It’s as if it were the only search engine in the world, as far as search engine optimization is concerned.

But what could we learn from optimizing for other search engines? And furthermore, what would the SEO world look like right now if we had one of these companies as the king of search instead of Big-Daddy-G?

Cuil
You’d expect better from former Google employees, wouldn’t you? From its baffling name to its almost-random results to its various sundry failings, Cuil has so far been the Hindenburg of search engine disasters. The reviews have gone beyond mere “bad” to inspiring words like “tragic,” “wretched,” and “bile inducing.” It’s still kicking, but over a year after launch you can still type in the most leading possible query and get back results from the Twilight Zone.

Inktomi
This one could have gone somewhere. Started by a UC Berkeley alumnus and professor and having had actual success for a couple of years on its college-campus testing ground, Inktomi just could have been a contender. It was robustly acquiring other companies and even partnering with AOL at one point with their Traffic Server product. But lo, came the dot-com-bust, and Inktomi ended its days as a Yahoo! acquisition.

Go.com
Probably the greatest search engine name of all time, the URL is still registered with Disney and still acting as a portal. But after Disney announced in 2000 that Go.com would be closing down and laying off approximately 400 employees and even retiring the stock, it was clear that it was not meant to be. Today if you type a search query into Go.com, you’re actually using Yahoo!’s rented technology. Go’s search engine was another victim of the dot-com-bust, coupled with the fact that they were trying to be more of a portal whereas the rest of the world wanted a pure search.

Lycos
Technically still kicking, but everybody can smell the charcoal stacking on its pyre. Lycos was once the hottest search destination on the web. In 1999, it was the most visited online destination in the world! They had a great TV campaign with a friendly trained dog who raced off to fetch your results, usually directed at shopping online. But Google handed them their head. Today Lycos is bought and sold and swapped around like a pile of poker chips. They’ve dropped much of their former subsidiaries. Let us not forget that Lycos was once responsible for Angelfire.com and Tripod.com, making them the Earnest and Julio Gallo of the search world (to use a bum-wines metaphor).

Teoma
Another idea that seemed like it could have gone somewhere in an alternate universe. Teoma was launched in 2000 by a team at Rutgers University, New Jersey. It had one secret-sauce ingredient that gave it a chance alongside Google: a ranking algorithm. Originally called “Subject-Specific Popularity,” this algorithm measured not only a page’s topic, but the topic of the pages linking to it as well, to give it increased relevance in that topic. Teoma just basically ran out of steam and got bought out; its algorithm today survives as Ask.com’s ExpertRank algorithm.

Getting to Know a Niche Market

One of the prime goals for an Internet marketer who wants to market within a specific niche is to get to know that niche. A specific market demographic is likely to have a whole culture around it, and you run into trouble if you get the culture wrong when composing your marketing materials. Leather, metal, motorcycles, and lager will go over big with marketing to bikers, but will flop with selling needlepoint kits to grannies.

One of the most important demographics is the youth market. Billion-dollar advertising companies exhaust years of research into study groups of kids and young people aged 14 to 21, to find out what they listen to, what they eat, where they go, and what their current slang is.

By all means, it’s necessary to become a part of this culture if you intend to market to it. Your best bet is to join Twitter groups, social bookmarking sites, and mailing lists devoted to your target culture and then remain very quiet about it. Spend more time listening than you do talking. Every time you see an unfamiliar term, look it up in Wikipedia or some other source to get the origin of the phrase. Continue reading

Analyzing the Latest Most Profitable Google AdSense Words

Handy little list for all users of Google AdSense, this is a list of some AdSense keywords, and this is the list of the highest-paying AdSense keywords.

Talk about any of these subjects on a blog with a Google ad in the sidebar, get the listed dollar amount every time somebody clicks the ad.

Well, as the site explains elsewhere, it’s not that simple! You have to have original content, be a site in good standing, etc. You can’t just post the list and expect it to do anything.

We ran some data-crunching on the list just to see what the top-ten most expensive words are by frequency:

118 mesothelioma
71 attorney
62 removal
62 hair
52 lawyer
44 laser
43 insurance
43 google
42 life
42 hosting

Clearly, our new word for the day is “mesothelioma”, a cancer commonly caused by asbestos. Construction workers and others exposed to asbestos the world over are suing the pants off their former employers, and lawyers apparently consider it money in the bank. This is no laughing matter; asbestos is nasty stuff and mesothelioma’s primary symptom is shortness of breath.

Laser hair removal surgery is also a big business. With more countries of the world becoming more liberal and posing in a swimsuit for their photo on MySpace, it stands to reason.

Google itself has a cottage industry around it, with experts all over the web who can’t wait to tell you all about Google’s products and services and how they can improve your life.

That leaves ‘hosting’ in the top ten, followed by ‘web’, #11 at 38 hits. Even though web hosting itself is pretty cheap these days, it’s a high-profit business because of the huge volume. Other honorable mention goes to home mortgage refinancing and loans.

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ALT Image Tags in Web Marketing

The “alt” tag as alternative text for an image placed on a web page, has a curiously evolved history.

It started out being the fix for web browsers that couldn’t display images – yes, they weren’t a given for the early web browsers. Just when we thought we could get rid of alt-text, the blind and visually-impaired community spoke up, “Whoa! We need those to read what the picture’s about!” and so now using alt-tags became a matter of accessibility.

And now search engines use them to index images. So alt-text is here to stay. To use it, you would put:

< img src=”http://mysite/image.jpg” alt=”our company logo” / >

And you can go one further and use a title tag, which makes text pop up when the user mouses over it. To see a title tag in action, visit XKCD and hover your mouse over a comic strip. Sometimes it adds to the joke, sometimes it explains it, and sometimes it’s a secret message!

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What if We Had a Global Economic Meltdown and the World Didn’t End Anyway?

Our reigning web entrepreneur guru, Paul Graham, is questioning how this recession will affect start-up markets. We’ve seen a ton of hand-wringing going on over the state of the world market lately.

Here’s the thing that I’ll say which is different from what everybody else says: We’re going to survive.

Yes, believe it or not, we’ll make it! We’ve seen this before during the Web Bubble. Lots of web companies died off in a hurry, but did you ever notice that these were companies which weren’t based on a very good idea to begin with? The hardy companies that knew how to really make money kept going; they even got richer during the worst of the Web Bubble!

Similarly, this recession is hitting some people hard – but it’s mainly hitting the people who were being foolish with their money to start with. Yes, I said it! The millionaires have lost their shirts in the stock market, and the people who treat houses like horses at a race-track, buying them just to flip them, are now out of their investment. But the working Joe and Jane are just going on the same way they always did.

If your income is derived from an online source, you have an advantage that few possess. Your income is not tied to any one country’s economy! You can work with companies and individuals all over the world. Even if the economy in the United States is tanking, you can find a booming market in Canada, and there’s a customer or client. So it is also true for business between Australia and Great Britain. Or between India and Romania.

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Lessons Learned From Twitter Hacking

It’s the kind of story that really gets your attention: Twitter, by any measure the most buzzed about network of 2008, got hacked by an 18-year-old!

With absolutely no skill or finesse involved, either. Anybody reading this could have done the same. You just download a free password-cracker program like Crack, John the Ripper, L0phtCrack, or Cain, point it at a log-in page, and leave it run for a couple of days. It’s that simple.

Dictionary attacks have been used since at least the 1980s, before the World Wide Web even came along. System admins have been scolding users for keeping easily guessed passwords around for almost that long. So the fact that you can be on the staff of a hip, trendy ‘Web 2.OH’ company and not know better just goes to show that this problem is never going away.

Jeff gives an interesting solution on the article: making an incrementally increased delay between each log-in attempt. Not too punishing for the legitimate user, but too much of a hurdle for a cracker. Even better are the forms you see here and there on the web, which check your password for a security level when you sign up.

Finally, if OpenID catches on, we just might be able to get all of the problems with user passwords in one spot, where at least they’ll be easier to kill.

Hits and Misses on Predictions for the Social Web in 2009

Over at Search Engine Watch, I just saw the 7 Social Media Predictions for 2009.

Now, you know we’re all just bloggers here, and my swami turban is just as pretty as SEW’s, so I figured I’d see if I can refine the list by picking which predictions will hit and which will miss.

1. Social Media Continues its Rapid Growth – Hit! Hey, like this is hard to predict?

2. Business Networks Surge as Economic Crisis Continues – Miss. I’ve been on the web since it started, and I haven’t seen walled gardens disappear yet. Companies like Yahoo and Apple tighten their grip, if anything. And do you think MSN Spaces will just help you pack when you move to Google’s Blogger?

3. Many Free Services Will Become Defunct – Miss! The thing is, web server space and tools are so cheap, you basically can run them out of your closet. And Open Source software has been with us since the 1970s. People can afford to keep doing it for a hobby. I can see more aggressive marketing, though.

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Thinking Of Doing Black Hat SEO, Think Again!

SEO is necessary to achieve high rankings. But, there are certain ethics and guidelines that most of the webmasters must keep in mind. Though there is no specific definition for black hat SEO, yet there are some things that may be considered inappropriate for websites of different categories. Something may be allowed for a gambling site, but may not be allowed for a health care site. Black hat SEO techniques are mostly those, which may break search engine rules or are a poor user experience or may have unethical presentation of content.

Some of the things considered as Black Hat SEO may even have been considered as legitimate ones earlier, but after being taken a bit too far by some, these were blacklisted. Generally, the black hat SEO practices may offer short term gains, but they may be limited to the rankings.

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More On Black Hat SEO

Avoid SEO techniques like keyword stuffing, using invisible text etc that are considered black hat SEO.

Keyword stuffing is nothing, but packing your keywords onto the website. If you have a list of keywords to use, do not make liberal use of them in you website. Use tools, which can help you to find the keyword density. Maintain a standard of around 3% to 7% keyword density. Make use of synonyms and make yourself aware of LSI to ensure that you have a good page developed within limits of acceptable use of keywords.

Invisible text is another technique that some SEO try using. It is nothing, but putting a list of keywords in white text on a white background. What it does is that it cannot be seen by readers, but attracts more search engine spiders. This can help get higher search engine ranking for usage of keyword, but again it is unethical to use it. Even the search engine algorithms may consider it, as spamming. Similarly, there is a concept some refer to, as doorway pages. It is basically a fake page that may not be ever seen by the user. It is just created for tracking search engine spiders in an attempt to give them content to index you higher.

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Tips To Write A Good Pay Per Click Ad

Pay per click is among the most popular and successful methods of advertising your online business. Although pay per click is known to be an effective advertising tool, it has to be used accurately, in order to get the desired results. With numerous entrepreneurs using pay per click Ad technique, you really need to think of creative and innovative ways of putting up your Ad. Your pay per click Ad has to be good, in order to turn huge traffic to your website.

Pay per click Ad is the first step of pay per click campaigns. You need to understand that a browser will choose to visit your site, purely on the basis of the text in the advertisement. At this point, they don’t really know, what your product or service is all about and how would they benefit from it. The Ad has to be eye catching, so that the browsers are tempted to click on it.

Thus making of a pay per click Ad is a crucial stage and requires uniqueness along with creativity.

Here are a few tips to write a good Pay Per Click Ad.

• The title or the headline has to be catchy and attractive. It should speak about the product in a smart and quickest way. The title should not be misleading, but should spell out the truth. The title can have upto 25 characters and you need to use them in a descriptive manner.

• The pay per click Ad should be able to show, how it can benefit the visitors. Most people will get back to the website, when they learn about, how the product can benefit them. The Ad has to be attractive and tempting to lure the visitors to your website.

• Make sure that the URL makes sense to the visitors. Use appropriate keywords in the URL to attract more clicks. To make the most, you can capitalize the first letter of your keyword. For example www. yummycookies.com, instead of this you can use http://www.yummycookies.com/ . It is effective, when you place keywords in your domain name.

• Use proper font size and colors that look decent to the eyes. You can use boxes and borders to make your Ad visible. However make sure, you don’t do too much of it or it could spoil the appearance.

• Make a good research, when it comes to using keywords in your pay per click Ad.

• Make sure that the Ad looks great on sites. Before you finalize the Ad, it is best to preview it on the website, so that you know, if it can attract the potential customers.

• To be on a safer side, it is best to create two pay per click Ads. You can upload both the Ads and check, which one is yielding better results. If both the Ads are giving good results, you are sure to benefit and if not you can only stick to the Ad that is attracting huge traffic.

Taking care of these tips will surely help you to create an appealing and traffic generating Ad. Let there be proper planning, so that you take the right steps at the right time. A well-designed Pay Per Click Ad can make a huge difference to your online business.

How To Make The Most Of Latent Semantic Indexing-LSI

Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI is a very significant technique used by search engines like Google to determine the topic of your website by looking at all the keywords and seeing how they relate.

LSI became popular with its use by Google, mainly for the purpose of detection of spam and for detection of excessive use of keywords to fool the search engines, to get a high listing. Earlier people have used it, to make use of rotating synonyms into which keywords could be multiple inserted. You can make good use of this technology, to get better rankings.

Web masters can make use of this technology, while developing content for their websites and ensure that they use keywords and terms, which are interpreted as expert and relevant content by search engines and the site given a high ranking. Using synonyms is preferable today, rather than using the same keyword to achieve certain keyword density.

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More On How To Make The Most Of Latent Semantic Indexing

Tools like Adwords from Google are freely available. It can be used to understand, what Google considers as synonyms. You may enter a keyword and check the “use synonyms” box and click on “Get more keywords”.

You can get a list of synonyms for the keyword. This way, you get some very relevant list of keywords. You can use these in your content without repetition of the same keywords. This can help you get good rankings.

Another use of this tool is that it determines the true meaning of words on the basis of various factors. It is used to determine heteronyms, polysemes and homonyms. Homonyms are spelt and pronounced the same way, but have different meanings. Heteronyms are spelt the same way, but pronunciations are different.

Polysemes are spelt the same way, but they come from the same root and are used in different context. When you are developing content, you have to keep this in mind, so that you are clear about what keywords you are using and what it is related to.

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Analyzing Your Competitors Website

When you develop your website to promote your products and reach out to relevant customers, you have to give due consideration to your competitors’ websites.

You should make a careful study of your competitors’ websites. It can give you an informative insight on strategies used by them to attract customers. You can form your own digital strategy based on relevant information to help you score over your competitors.

You have to know the value of competition.

Identify the leaders in your field. You can use Yahoo directory, which can provide you with a view of the major players in the field related to your own industry.

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Analyzing Your Competitors Website 2

You may also find it useful to analyze the advertising campaigns they run and what they offer their visitors. There may be freebies, contest etc, which they may have arranged to keep the customers hooked to their websites.

There is also a site named ‘compete.com’ that can be used to see your competitors’ marketing strategies, keywords used, quantity of traffic etc. At the same time, also analyze the keywords being used to good effect. Are they using Meta title tag, description tag, keywords tag, Alt tags etc? Check the keyword density and their placement. Find out, if they are getting good rankings with the keywords, they are using. Find out, if they are involved in keyword spamming, using keywords or key phrases.

As you check out all these features you should also take a look at the website design and layout.

Find out if they are using search engine friendly web design basic HTML or ASP. Check how much and where they use flash content to make their site attractive. Are their sites easy to navigate and have they used a site map to enable improved indexing and page ranking?

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Things Web Analytics Can Teach You

For the purpose of SEO, you need to always be on the look out for the keywords that can bring in lots of traffic. However, it does not end there. What you also need to understand is, which keywords bring in more traffic, as well as conversions for you?

Unless you get visitors to become customers, to get huge traffic would be of no use. You should analyze, what gets you more visitors and also ensure that your sales are completed with them. This is where web analytics can be of immense help to you. You can literally listen to what your customers are saying by using web analytics tools, which are available.

The web analytical tools and test can give you the most valuable information about visitors. You can get a peek at their browsing and searching behavior.

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More On Things Web Analytics Can Teach You

A very important piece of information that you achieve from web analytics is the amount of words and phrases that people type as search queries, to find a web page. You can find this useful to receive specific target visitors, which can be useful to improve the chances of conversion.

Similarly, search engines generated traffic can be reported using web analytics tool with some other details, which can be very useful in understanding, if your return on investments have been of any profit. You can know the traffic that comes from paid listings from amongst the total list retrieved by search engines. This way you can understand the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. There are some higher end analytic tools that can generate reports from outcomes of organic search engines.

You can also make use of such analytical tools for the purpose of copywriting. It helps you to understand, what and how to write for target audience. Use of keywords is important, but developing content, keeping in mind the LSI can be even better. You can understand from such tools the different keywords and their synonyms that can help develop content without putting in the same keywords, too many times.
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The Importance Of Web Copy In Internet Marketing

Sales copy is part of traditional marketing and advertising activities and can be sent out to prospective buyers with the aim of informing them of a product or service.

It can inform them about how the product or service will benefit the prospective buyer and to provide relevant information in a way that may induce them to buy the product or service.

Similarly web copy is either long or short text in the form of web literature generally used for selling something over the internet.

However, despite the similarity of purpose, web copy differs a lot from a traditional sales copy sent by, say direct mail.

Though web marketing continues to apply the basic principles of traditional marketing it should use copy writing to successfully do the selling.

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More About The Importance Of Web Copy In Internet Marketing

While drafting and preparing your sales copy you need to be sensitive to the unique features of internet lingo. This will help you create effective web copy that readers will find exciting – and thus compel them to make a purchase.

Foremost among them is the style of writing. Netizens are more comfortable with information that is presented in a relaxed and informal way – unlike the type used in the usual direct mail sales material which tends to use hyperbole.

The writing style of web copy needs to be engaging and friendly with a soft-sell approach.

Web copy should describe the products with a personal touch creating a relaxed feeling in the reader. It shouldn’t sound like thrusting a product on a reader.

Internet users prefer a softer approach.

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All You Need To Know About Affiliate Internet Marketing

Affiliate marketing has gained popularity with the rising demand of online Internet marketing. It is an Internet based marketing that involves three parties:

– A merchant creator
– An affiliate of a particular merchant and
– The buyers

Affiliate marketing uses regular advertising methods, which include search engine optimization, email marketing, paid search engine marketing and display advertising. In affiliate marketing when one website is used to drive the traffic to another, it is known as online marketing. So, the key to success in Internet marketing is innovation. You have to make changes and create new ideas to earn profits and success in affiliate marketing.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Whether you start your own website or with a blog, you need to advertise the product. Whenever a visitor comes to your website and clicks on your product, they are sent to another website and if they purchase from that website, you are being paid. So the bottom line is you are being paid for the promotion of a product created by somebody else. And you can make money ranging from 10 to 400 dollars. This is how it works.

Affiliate marketing has proved to be one of the best ways to earn profits within a short span of time. There are various benefits associated with affiliate marketing. Some of these, we will look into and discuss on my next post below.

More About Affiliate Internet Marketing

It is better to promote products through affiliate marketing than selling products on your own.

– You don’t need to look after the customers’ complaints and queries.
– You can earn benefits from an established brand in the market.
– Billing and delivery of product can be taken care of by the affiliate program.
– You need not invest in stock.
– Usually refunds are absorbed by the program.

So, an affiliate marketer doesn’t have a product of his own because he starts affiliating by selling products for the merchant. Later on, he may start selling his own products. Affiliate marketing can be easily started with low investment. They don’t have to pay rent or hire utilities. Most of the affiliates start their business at their home as a one man operation. They outsource the projects, where they need help such as web design. Affiliate marketers also don’t need any kind of license or fees because it is free to become associated with merchants. They don’t have to keep any kind of inventory of products in their garages. You don’t need any kind of sales experience. There is nothing like face-to-face interaction in this kind of business. The merchant takes concern in matters, such as accepting payment, customer’s services that may include complaints, refunds and many more.

Thus the affiliate marketer has low financial risk and at the same time, he has the potential for earning high profits. Another benefit, being an affiliate marketer is to run his business in any part of the world. He just needs to have an Internet connection. Once he starts with his business set up and his business runs smoothly, it becomes easy to earn money, even if you were relaxing.

The Internet world has given innumerable options to various people to make money with less investment.

Google Chrome Browser

Google’s goals for its new Chrome Web browser are simple: Make the Web experience faster and, by extension, make more money for Google.

Google’s Chrome browser is now officially available as a beta, offering the promise of increased speed, security and usability. During a conference call and Webcast with the press today from the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif., Google trotted out a line-up of engineers to explain what is new for Web users and what Google hopes to gain with Chrome.

Article Marketing – A Major Internet Marketing Strategy

Article marketing forms the foundation of all effective Internet marketing campaigns these days. Having attained the position to be of the industry standard among web marketing strategies, article marketing is the best way to vastly increase the level of natural search engine rankings of your website. Article marketing depends on a variety of factors, including correct placement of keywords, comprehensive syndication and one-way links to text among several other vital practices that work together to make a site interesting to someone searching the web for specific information.

To be really successful, article marketing should form the core of your regular efforts for tackling competition.

There are several ways in which article marketing can benefit your website. The most potent among them all is by providing greater visibility to the site. In article marketing, you provide the articles you have written to several ezines, websites and blogs free of cost. Your payout is that you are allowed to include a brief bio at the end of the article in the resource box with links to your website.

Article Marketing – A Major Internet Marketing Strategy 2

Article marketing will let you establish yourself as an expert in your field, provide your site with increased traffic and lead to better search engine ranking for your site. Whatever be your area of expertise, you can be sure that there exists an audience, who is interested to learn more from you and there are many publishers, who are on the look out for low cost or free content.

However, simply writing and submitting articles that lack quality content is a waste of time and effort. Your articles provide you with an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your field. You therefore need to write like an expert. It is the best articles that fetch the best results. Your articles need to be focused, presentation should be lucid, the contents easily understandable and useful to the reader with correct grammar, punctuation and sequence of thoughts. Make sure that you do not use the article as means to promote your products. It may have adverse effects. Also avoid using too many links in the text. If there are many links with most of them pointing to your website, it may make the publisher remove the links other than those in the resource box.

More On Article Marketing

The links that you place in the resource box are the real payment for your efforts and expertise. The links work to generate fresh leads and build new links. It is advisable to keep everything as simple as possible in the resource box.

The best way to provide resource box information is to give your name, the name of your business and a short description of the services you offer and, if opportunity exists, your USP must not forget to link back to your own website. In case you have a number of sites, provide a link to the site, which is most closely related to the contents/topic of your article.

Article marketing is among the most economical methods of website marketing. It does not require you to possess special technical skills like HTML etc. and you can use it intelligently to promote your products and services and also raise your site’s ranking with search engines.

Internal Linking

Here’s a great example of how you can enhance your Web site’s usability and assist your SEO efforts.

Too often, you may have created a lot of Web pages but they don’t “speak” to each other. If a visitor is on my company’s Internet Marketing Services page, then they might also be interested in our web analytics services or our search engine marketing services.

So, we’ve added links to those pages on the Internet Marketing Services page. Simple stuff.

Linking like this creates great internal linking, which is great for the user experience. These internal links provide an opportunity to use a keyword-rich anchor text link to that page.

Internet Usage Up

Almost half of all internet users now use search engines on a typical day

The percentage of internet users who use search engines on a typical day has been steadily rising from about one-third of all users in 2002, to a new high of just under onehalf (49%).

With this increase, the number of those using a search engine on a typical day is pulling ever closer to the 60% of internet users who use email, arguably the internet’s all-time killer app, on a typical day.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

Broadband use

Those who use broadband connections at home are significantly more likely than those who use dial-up to have ever tried using search engines at all, by 94% to 80%.

They are dramatically more likely to search on a typical day, and this difference persists when other factors, such as age and education, are held constant.

These are the percentages according to type of internet connections for those who search on a typical day: Broadband at home 58% | Dial-up at home 26%

Usability and SEO

The search engine’s job is to deliver the most relevant result against a given search query. In order to be seen as “relevant” to the search engines, you must first be relevant to a user of your web site.

There are no shortcuts here.

You need quality content and pages upon pages of supporting content.

Too often, people redesign their web sites to make them more “user friendly.” They believe this is accomplished by having fewer pages with less verbiage and more graphics.

If you think about it, though, people use search to read and research when they’re looking for your business.

Tracking seo results

Tracking the online traffic to your website is called – Website Analytics.

This should be given the upmost importance, after you have completed the search engine optimization process.

You have to be able to determine, which keywords and search items are helping you enhance the traffic to your website.

One tip for all you webmasters would be that search engine optimisation process does take time – so don’t be discouraged, if you don’t see any immediate results.

If done correctly, you will slowly be on your way to climbing up the search engine results page of major search engines like Google, Yahoo & Live.

Effective Pay Per Click landing pages

A landing page is the first page on your website that a potential customer will see when they click on your Google or Yahoo pay per click ad.

This page needs to be designed to convert the maximum number of visitors/leads.

Your landing pages should be professionally designed and should immediately confirm for the visitor that they will find what they came looking for by including the query term in the title and heading of the page.

Your page should have a clear call to action for your visitors to be able to either fill out a form, order a trial, buy a product, request a brochure or subscribe to a service.

The page needs to be succinct and not too heavy on text.

Effective Pay Per Click landing pages – Part 2

You should have at least one nice image – remember what they say about first impressions!

Your PPC landing page should include the price of the product or a price range for services, and provide a clear incentive to buy – either a discount, product comparison, service guarantee, support etc.

Your landing page should improve visitor retention rates and convert more visitors into leads or customers for your business.

If you have a product or service that is expensive in relative terms – my advice would be not to attempt to sell someone a car or apartment with their first visit – rather get a lead with their name, email address etc – and then plan the next step in your sales strategy – which could be a member of your sales team to send a brochure etc and follow up with a phone call or email.

For general tips and web design strategies – have a look at my web design blog.

Effective Link Building Strategies

Link building is an important search engine optimization technique that helps bloggers or web masters get more traffic to their websites. Link building is popular among net marketers, and can result in a lot of traffic to their websites or blogs.

Even with a well designed site, you may find visitors can’t find you. Therefore, they will never see what you are actually selling. All your efforts will be in vain.

At Slinky Internet Marketing we believe that Link building is important for many reasons.

Link building works on the SEO technique. SEO is a service that helps to make the websites or blogs rank up the top on the search engines natural search results.

The ranking is important, since a website that is ranked highly on the search engines will attract more traffic to it. This is the way people look at link building. When the results are displayed on the search engines, people normally click on the first page of links that are displayed.

Link building has so far emerged as a great way to enable a website to rank better on the search engines.

These links are commonly called the back links. These are the links, which are found on other websites and direct people to your website.

You should use your main keywords in the text anchor links.

Effective Link Building Strategies – Part 2

One strategy you can use for link building, is to include a link exchange program. Along with submitting your main page to various web page directories and writing and submitting articles to article directories online, the link exchange program is among the most popular form of link building techniques.

What link exchange does is that two sites exchange their links, so that they can have an exchange of the traffic flow. This can also be done as a 3 way link – which is the recommended way to proceed in my opinion.

You should target web partners with high page ranks (PR).

It is also important to target link partners with sites that have similarities with yours. This will bring you more relevance to your links.

Effective Link Building Strategies – Part 3

By submitting your website to directories you have a good chance of being better ranked, since most of these directories have very high ranks on search engines. The only problem is when directories have more than 30 or so links on each page – which then reduces the PR that is passed on to your website, or when your site is listed on page 20 of your category and the PR doesn’t reach that deep.

To submit articles to article directories on the other hand is a very effective strategy, since you will also include some links at the bottom of these articles – in the authors BIO. Some directories allow inline linking in the article, but usually it is best to leave for the authors BIO.

By producing original quality content and telling the reader where they can find more of the same (ie: your website) this will lead Google and potential customers to your website – which is a good thing!

Google algorithm and your SEO

Google is continually tweaking its algorithm. Often changes to the algorithm will change the position of search engine rankings.

It might be that one of the latest changes affected your website.

In 2007, Google released more than 450 changes of the ranking algorithm. That’s more than 1 per day!

Peter Brittain
Northland Digital

The secret to getting the best directory listing on the internet

By Peter Brittain – Managing Director Northland Digital & Slinky Internet Marketing

We all know that DMOZ is the famous Open Directory Project, right?

The Open Directory Project (ODP) is known as DMOZ because of its original domain name, directory.mozilla.org and is a multilingual open content directory of web sites that is developed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.

Being listed in the directory is free.
DMOZ uses a hierarchical system for organizing website listings. Listings are sorted into categories, which can then include sub-categories under them.

Google uses DMOZ as a directory source so it is important to have your site listed in its index. Google’s own directory is actually the whole DMOZ directory.

Robozilla which is DMOZ’s web crawler checks the status of all sites listed and periodically flags websites which appear to have moved or disappeared. This helps to reduce the link rot in its web directory.

Now, it has been said that without a DMOZ listing you will not rank well in Google. This is not true, but it is one of the best authoritative links around.

How do I get listed?
There are two ways you can submit your site to DMOZ. The first way is to find the category your site belongs to and enter your website there.

Another way is to go directly to the region where your business is located. Then look for the category you want within that region and submit your website in that location.

Always try to submit to a category that has an editor and be patient. Getting listed is notoriously slow, but the results can be well worth it. We know that being listed will probably help our Google rankings, but getting in can take a very long time.

There is a massive accumulation of sites waiting to be reviewed. Each editor can only edit their own categories.

One of the main reasons websites seem to wait forever to get listed is actually the fault of the submitter of the site. The website must be put in the correct category – not one that nearly fits or one that you would like it in more. This causes a delay with the submission being passed along to the correct category and added to the queue – again.

So, when submitting a site, always take time to find the right category for it. Don’t be enticed to submit it to a category that is higher up than it belongs, because it won’t be accepted there and will cause delays.

How good is a listing in DMOZ?
It will certainly help your bid for a first page listing in Google and you will sometimes find that the description used by the search engines when they list your website in their natural results will be from the DMOZ listing, not from your websites description Meta tag.

A quality link from an authoritative site or directory like Yahoo or DMOZ linking back to you is better than 500+ links from link farms or other irrelevant sources as far as your link building efforts are concerned..

Not many people actually use DMOZ for searches so a DMOZ listing is not really for generating traffic. However, its data can be freely downloaded, and any website, however small, can use it.
This has some significant effects for websites that are listed in DMOZ.

PageRank is an integral part of Google’s position algorithm, and top PageRank can mean superior rankings. The PageRank within a website is increased by other sites that link to it.
The higher the PageRank of the pages that link to it, the better it is for the site that the link points to.

A DMOZ listing produces two important links to a site – one from DMOZ and one from the Google directory.

Both of these usually have high PageRank. Then add the links from the thousands of small sites that have downloaded the DMOZ directory to their own and you can see why it is very valuable for your website to have a DMOZ listing.

SEO Shopping carts to rank in the search engines

The objective of any shopping cart is to allow visitors to shop at a website for products they want. Not all search engines have the same capabilities.

Some search engines are able to navigate through dynamic sites while others are not. Sometimes the search engines that are able to navigate through dynamic sites have problems indexing and navigating through the entire site.

These factors eliminate many shopping websites from the search engine result pages or limit the possibility of their advancement by SEO to the top of the search engine result pages. For a business to be competitive on the WWW, all of its pages need to be indexed and developed correctly.

Many website owners in the past have had to find a company that could optimize their site, create landing pages that focused upon a product or category, or use any number of other means to elevate the shopping cart site in the search engines. These tactics have worked successfully, but the search engines want pages that are of unique value to present to their clients. Dynamic sites impede the model search engines desire.

More on SEO Shopping carts ranking in search engines

In order to meet the demands of the search engines and be indexed by all search engines, new techniques must be employed. These new seo techniques can make a shopping cart more search engine friendly if they are developed correctly. Some systems will never be search engine friendly and result in poor placement in search engine results.

There are many factors that come into play when attempting to determine if a shopping cart system is not search engine friendly. These factors are important to understand and can help you determine if the system is right for you.

I will attempt to explain some great tips for search engine placement for your shopping cart in some of my following posts.

Mod Rewrite shopping carts for SEO

Many websites use URL rewrite technologies to make the URL’s friendly to the search engines.

Also known as a mod_rewrite, it has been described as “the Swiss Army Knife of URL manipulation“!

However, not all rewritten URL’s are the same. Some people rewrite URL’s to simply remove the (?) and (&) from the resulting URL. However, this does not provide the best form of rewritten URL.

URL rewrites are programming techniques that allow the returned URL to be more search engine friendly by removing the (?) and (&) from the returned URL found in the location or address bar. This enables the search engines to index the page without having variables or session id’s interlaced into the URL.

Peter Brittain
Northland Digital Agency

Expanding on Mod Rewrite shopping carts for SEO

There are two types of mod rewrites. Each meet the same purpose, but the advanced URL rewrite is more search engine friendly. The following examples will give you an idea of the important factors.

Non-URL Rewrite URL

http://www.yoursportsshop.com/shop.php?cat_id=1&item_id=2

The above URL indicates to the database that the returned information should be from the category with id equal to 1 and the item id equal to 2. This works fine for the system because it understands the variables. Many search engines however do not understand this form of URL.

Simple.

http://www.yoursportsshop.com/shop/1/2.html

The simple URL rewrite will take the URL and modify it so that it appears without the (?) and (&). This enables all search engines to index your all of your pages, but still lacks in some important areas.

Advanced.

http://www.yoursportsshop.com/tennis/wilson-tennis-racquets.html

The advanced URL rewrite enables your URLs to include your keywords. This is another location search engines look for important information about your pages. Being able to include keywords in your URL helps elevate your page to the top of the search engine result pages.

If you require more technical information you can go here or contact us at Slinky Internet Marketing.

Social Media & Viral Marketing

Social media marketing is the method for generating publicity through social media and online community websites.

It is important to know what social networks are.

While online dating websites could be considered the new ‘night clubs’, social networks are the new malls…places to hang out.

The malls are built by the users and not many rules prevail and without any rules users are connecting with each other and creating content for other people.

People are putting their personal lives online for public display in exchange for human connection.

Continue reading

What is viral marketing?

It’s Simple.

Viral Marketing is marketing consumers transport for you.

It’s unique content or functionality they can’t get elsewhere and exploits the natural desire to be the first one around with something cool!

This is done through the use of networking in social book marking, video and photo sharing websites.

In a similar way the engagement with blogs achieves the same by sharing content.

Heading Tags

Heading tags are those tags that identify the importance of a piece of content and elevate it above the remaining content. For example, an h1 heading tag is the most important of all heading tags.

When a page uses the h1 tag it announces to the search engines that the enclosed text is of vital importance and it is usually the topic of the page.

For example, a page about Web Design that uses an h1 tag enclosing the words Web Design identifies to the search engine that the main topic of the page is, in fact, Web Design. This can elevate your page above all others that talk about Web Design if they do not utilize the h1 tag.

Over use of the h1 tag on a single page can be considered spam by the SE’s. This can get the page banned and may even get the site banned.

We find it is usually better to use the h1, h2 & h3 tags in a methodical procedure down the page leaving the most important juice line for the h1 tag.

Search Engine Marketing Strategy

With growing technology, it has become easier to find any and everything on the Internet and the search engines play a vital role in helping people find relevant information.

Most Businesses have set up their websites and try to have their sites ranked high in the natural results of searches that are displayed to searchers.

This will bring the maximum exposure possible, and the ability to attract plenty of potential customers/clients.

The SEO’s job as we all know is to determine the keywords frequently used by visitors, but SEO alone is not enough. You need to conduct marketing efforts online that are aimed at increasing the traffic and conversion.

SEM or search engine marketing encompasses search engine optimization, social marketing, pay per click campaigns and online visibility, which increase branding and recognition.

So in brief, the work of SEM is to promote your website in all the many other areas of website marketing other than SEO.

More about Search Engine Marketing Strategy

Let’s see how SEM is one of the important strategies to make your online business successful.

SEM is one of the effective ways to maximize profits and make your online presence visible to every one. For this you ought to have the basic knowledge of search engine optimization so that you can apply the right techniques to your website. Otherwise you may find it difficult to cope with your competitors.

Create your website according to the requirements of the search engine. The website must have a theme and also be informative. If you can build a site that is search engine friendly, it will be easier to be indexed, giving it a higher ranking among the search engines. You can also research well before creating the content of the website. This will help you to determine your target market and audience.

Place the keywords in your website in a manner that makes sense when read. This is one of the important aspects of search engine optimization. The best keywords and phrases draw the attention of the visitors. However, don’t over stuff the website with keywords, use it in such a way so that search engine users don’t reject your site due to over stuffing.

Always keep yourself updated and review your marketing strategies often, and then apply any changes, if required.

Hire an online professional search engine marketing company if the going gets tough. It would be the best option to handle a search engine marketing campaign. An experienced search engine marketing company will have the right expertise and knowledge to ensure that you have a viable marketing campaign in place. Good SEM uses headlines, sub headlines, short paragraphs and colored themes to help businesses achieve success and meet targets.

Search engine marketing is a great way to promote your website through search engines. So don’t waste time, try out some of the strategies and you may end up with the highest page ranks ever.

Effective Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is one thing that can promise your website the sales that you always dreamt of. For this, it is very important that you know a thing or two about the various aspects of search engine optimization. Now, it is not all that difficult that you thought it would be.

Simply follow a few steps and you’ll find that your website is already on the way in the top ten search engine results.

There are many steps or the so called “secrets” that you can advocate to drive more traffic to your website. But, before you can do all that, you should review your website first and find out, what should make it more appealing to your visitors? You can start off by simply studying your page for that matter, a sort of review one might say.

Check whether your main web page has a professional look or a more laid back, peppy kind of look.

Whatever the look may be, you have to think about the target audience and their age group, in order to make your page more appealing to them. The content in your page acts like a hallmark for your website. So, don’t forget to update the page, whenever required. Always remember that good content will always get you into the good books of the search engines.

Effective Search Engine Marketing Part 2

The next step would be reviewing the usage of your keywords.

Try to use too many on anyone page and you could be accused of keyword stuffing. You need to get the page density – just right.

Keyword stuffing is basically spamming. This may lead your website to be blacklisted from the particular search engine.

May be you can use a little trick with the keyword, like including it in your domain name. Just don’t go anywhere beyond that. This will help rankings.

Your Search Engine Marketing Guide

By Peter Brittain – Managing Director Northland Digital & Slinky Internet Marketing

Advance and high technology has opened up opportunities to make our work easier.

But it has also brought some kind of bad effects with it. You can find lots of information on the Internet, some of them are truly useful and the rest is simply worthless information floating around the Internet. The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) optimizes the ranking of each page and brings the relevant information to you. SEM or search engine marketing is a term, which encompasses all kind of efforts to generate leads.

Search engine marketing includes search engine optimization, pay per click management, and landing page optimization.

Usually the task of SEM is to promote websites by increasing the ranking in major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. There are few steps in search engine marketing, which can guide you in developing your own website.

Your Search Engine Marketing Guide 2

At the outset, do a thorough market research. Most websites have a targeted audience, which has a large proportion of similar age group, gender and income bracket.

Initially, you may find a smaller proportion of audience focused for a particular segment. As a result you have to establish a target market for your site before you start working on the design or content of the market. For this you have to decide on how you can make your website more appealing.

The next step is to make your visibility on search engines and directories. It is essential to conduct a keyword research. While researching for keywords, you should keep in mind that every person browses the Internet in a different way and use different keywords. Hence, there is a variation of terminology and statements, which are determined by the age, profession, and the part of the world they come from.

Pick those keywords, which are relevant to your site. You can definitely discuss with your friends and colleagues as to who could belong to your target audience and get an idea of how they would go about in their search.

Your Search Engine Marketing Guide 3

After you find good keywords, lay stress on the number of pages to be posted. You can assign different themes to the pages and make them more attractive and appealing.

Take the keyword research list and divide the phrases in between the pages to make sure that they match with the theme. Try to make 200 to 500 words of copy per page. Use the effective keywords in the first para, but make sure that they fit well in the sentences. Do not use hidden layers or spam tricks. You may be penalized or banned for this.

At Slinky we strategically and effectively use headlines, sub-headlines, short paragraphs, fonts and colored themes. Short snappy sales copy with keyword has also proved to be very effective and worthwhile. In case, you don’t want 200 to 500 keyword rich text page. You can create product info sheets or javascript links that expand or contract blocks of text, so that it can be read if necessary by the viewer – and can be crawled by Googlebot.

The main target of SEM is to increase the number of hits to your address. Increased customer calls, leads, and an increase in sales display the effectiveness of any SEM. So don’t wait. Start writing for websites and choose complimentary search engine marketing to attract traffic to your website.

How To Create A Successful Link-Baiting Post

The easiest and probably the most cost-effective link baiting technique is to post unique blog articles that online users might find interesting to read. The trick here is to offer something truly and comprehensively unique, obviously because there will be thousands more like you trying to achieve the same thing.

So, how do you create one? Well, if you are creative enough, you can do it yourself, but in case you lack that ability to create something valuable out of nothing, then you might have to get help from professionals.

If you have the requisite funds, you can hire professional blog writers and give them the task to create truly and comprehensively unique blog articles for your website. However, just make sure that you own the copyrights, obviously because if you do not do so, other websites may stake their claims on that interesting piece of content that you might be planning to use as bait for generating the required back links.

Successful Link Baiting

There are many variations that you can try while creating a link baiting blog article, but if you want to concentrate only on time-tested methods, I would recommend that you simply include something controversial in your blog article.

Everyone loves a bit of controversy in their lives and if you manage to include something controversial in your blog without ruffling too many feathers, you can rest assured that your blog will be a big hit amongst online users and you will get the desired number of back links for your website.

For example, instead of supporting the ongoing protests against global warming, what you can do is present your own unique views on the subject, backed up by facts and intelligent reasoning. As far as this example is concerned, you can find plenty of information on the Internet, which can be used for backing up your claims and views on the subject.

Successful Link Baiting Part 2

Other popular variations that you can try out would deal with creating a list of something useful such as the top 100 horror movies, top 100 tacks for a particular year, or something like that.

You can also create the list of worst something’s in order to create your blog article even more interesting to read. The best thing about these variations is that here you can really be unique since the list compilations will be based on your personal tastes and preferences.

This will automatically help you attract those who might share your tastes and preferences. And with millions of online users, you can rest assured that there will be thousands like you.

The fan following your blog article generates can then be used for getting the desired number of backlinks from interested website owners.

Monitor Your Website Traffic – Search Engine Marketing

An online business website that depends on promotion and sales needs a good search engine marketing strategy to be successful and profitable. Generating targeted traffic to the website is the main function of a search engine marketing strategy.

A variety of different traffic building methods and techniques can be used to attract traffic to a particular website. One such widely used methods of search engine marketing that is used by online businesses to generate traffic is “pay per click”. Pay per click is an acceptable method used to attract traffic to your websites, however it is important to monitor it frequently to determine its efficiency in generating traffic that is beneficial to the project.

There are many businesses find paid campaigns prohibitively expensive and a drain on their already scarce resources. Such companies can opt for free campaigns that work on targeted marketing. SEO or search engine optimization is a free traffic generating campaign that is a part of search engine marketing. However, it too requires a lot of research and constant monitoring to produce the desired results.

The keywords selected for SEO need to be relevant to the website concerned and also to the users queries. For search engine optimization to be effective in attracting traffic the websites should be listed in the first few pages.

More On Monitoring Your Search Engine Marketing

Pay per click is more effective in pulling traffic as it lists websites on the first page of the SERP.

The quality of the traffic pulled is also of a high order. The only reason why businesses don’t use it is because it’s too expensive. However there are ways to reduce the cost of PPC so that businesses do not overshoot the budget. One way is to minimize the cost is to use less popular keywords. Although they generate relatively less traffic it is sufficient to meet the requirements of the website in question. Another smart way is to bid on misspelled keywords. It does sound strange but the fact is that too many visitors make typos on search engines. This weakness of visitors can be used to your advantage and attract some more traffic to your website.

Installing link exchange system is also recommended. In this system you have non-competitive websites link to your websites. This way you generate more traffic to your website from partner websites. Having professionally written articles related to your business also helps, the articles pose problems to visitors and offer your company’s name as a solution thereby increasing the traffic.

Updating articles on a weekly basis makes your website rich with content encouraging visitors to come back again and again and also visitors are more likely to recommend your sites to their friends and associates, thus increasing the traffic to your website. Distributing your articles throughout the net helps as more and more people are aware of your company’s product and thus increasing traffic to your website.

Only 3 – 6% of all the websites on the World Wide Web are correctly optimized, even though thousands of websites are launched by businesses and individuals every day. The only way to stay visible on the Internet is to have an effective SEO strategy.

Managing Search Engine Marketing Campaigns

By Peter Brittain – Managing Director Northland Digital & Slinky Internet Marketing

Managing websites is not merely optimizing the right terms in natural and pay per click searches but ensuring that the two work together. A common misconception is that there are tricks one can use in search engine marketing. In reality, there is no such thing as tricks in search engine marketing, which is in fact very similar to marketing in general. More often it is about getting the word about your products and services out, keeping the site updated with fresh content and generally ensuring that visitors recommend the site to others.

It will help if you attempt to make your site social media compatible by offering relevant information and news on the latest developments in the niche you are present in. These tactics are great marketing tools that help you to market your site to targeted audience effectively.

Search engine optimization and Pay per click strategies should compliment each other and not contradict each other.

You can ensure this by keeping a close watch on the terms that convert to leads on pay per click and the terms that bring traffic naturally to your website. If your websites appear on the first page naturally and on paid listings, it gives you an opportunity to advertise an additional message to the user. This will also keep your paid search budget well within your control.

If you notice that your natural ranking is consistently higher it means that your page is doing extremely well in Google’s complex Quality Score algorithm. This will result in making your PPC bidding lower compared to others in the same position and control your marketing budget.

Search marketing also has some technical aspects similar to other types of marketing activities. The website should have rich and updated content that is unique. Make sure the server is configured correctly and indexed. Search marketing requires all the efforts that print marketers make to keep production costs down and increase efficiency.

Spreading the word around is important in any marketing activity and search marketing is no exception to it, building links on friendly sites, blog, and other sites related to your sector is one way to do this. Your site becomes a talking point and helps your marketing effort.

Having done all the above it is important to measure the effectiveness of the marketing strategy. A Web analytics package such as Google Analytics, which is free, can help in this. Continuously monitor and track your PPC campaign, test ad groups and landing pages to see if they are targeting effectively. Keep updating the content on the site and get the word out.

Increasing site traffic is not the end you also need to track your conversion rates. If your website has gained an additional 500 hits a month you need to see how many of those additional 500 visitors actually got converted to being your customers.

Find ways to increase traffic and then find ways to increase the conversion rates to make your search engine marketing campaign a success.

The Most Common Mistakes with SEO

Have you ever started on some SEO work and got a bad feeling that you might be doing something wrong?

Here are some mistakes made in SEO, as well as tips on how to avoid them.

Not using your homepage

It is by far your most powerful page because the majority of your inbound links will go there. You also need words on your homepage, and your words have to include your target phrases. You can test what works, trying keywords of varying degrees of difficulty and ambition. It is important to maintain a certain keyword density for your targeted phrases.

Mistakes with SEO 2

Relying too much the homepage

This is just as bad. There is only so far you can go until there comes a point when you have to realize that you need to do well on pages other than your homepage. You have to pass that success on to other pages and if you have developed your channels you will be able to use that success.

Use the power of your home page to target new niches and use internal links to pass that success on deeper into your site. And of course build deep links direct to the internal pages.

Missing The Big Picture

Most optimisation advice is given for a single page, word or technique. If a site is to help a small business then that site is going to need a lot of pages targeting many keywords, and using a wide range of techniques. All of these pages, keywords and techniques need to work together so you need a plan to coordinate that. So what are the techniques? Keyword research, strategy, site structure and navigation, on page SEO, link building and online press releases.

Mistakes with SEO 3

Not having A keyword strategy

Your SEO strategy should serve the company, marketing and brand strategies. A keyword strategy is a prioritized list of the company’s target markets’ niches, as defined by the keywords used in those niches – the words and phrases used in search engines.

Not coordinating SEO with your marketing departments

There is little point in having new content without SEO to maximize the visitors seeing that content. There is little point in SEO without marketing to convert the visitors to whatever it is you want them to do. And there is little point in marketing without sales. You have to make them work together and be part of the process.

Not monitoring results

You have to monitor the numbers buying your product or signing up to your newsletter. This is done with website analytics programs. You may find that the market niche you hoped would work ends up not working, and in that case move on. You have to monitor traffic, rankings and response for relevant searches. If you are getting results you need to move on to the next stage; that might be moving on to the next niche, or perhaps your results are coming from your homepage and you now have to move to get that success transferred to pages deeper in your site.

Mistakes with SEO 4

Not doing SEO now

Here’s a simple point; every day you wait means it will be more expensive to get the same results. If you can, get to the top for a collection of keywords – this will give you momentum and help you stay at the top, and it becomes cheaper. Serious search engine success allows for serious business success – put these things together and you will have success. If you don’t do the work now it’s going to cost you more. There is a simple reason for this and it’s inbound links.

Not understanding structure and navigation

Any site for a reasonably sized business is going to need a lot of pages and if you have lots of pages you need a site structure and an accompanying site navigation that is optimized. Even on a small site it’s possible to get this wrong and waste all your work, which reminds you that you have to get everything working together. You might have wonderfully optimized pages and links but if you don’t have your navigation right or your structure isn’t right then your success will be limited.

What should you do? It’s hard to give a quick answer, but you should organize your site content into channels of related content

Directory link building for link popularity and superior SEO

In search engine optimisation (SEO), off page issues have become more and more significant as they relate to rankings. In particular, link popularity can build or destroy a website with the search engines.

Link popularity is the amount and quality of the incoming links that are pointing to your website. It can be determined that these other sites that link to you, consider your site important enough to link to.

From the search engines point of view, your website is considered important as well.

One of the most difficult areas of SEO is building link popularity because the search engines don’t want unnaturally fashioned links, so there are no easy ways to create link popularity.

The days of link farms and huge link exchange programs are history. Those strategies now could have you removed from a search engine.

The search engines like links from valued websites. These are called ‘authoritative’ sites. The first one you should try and get a link from is the Open Directory Project (ODP) otherwise known as DMOZ. Listings are free, but can take a notoriously long time to get. Make sure you follow the instructions to the letter – or you will be wasting your time trying.

Yahoo is the other major directory, but this will cost you a couple of hundred bucks each year.

The other aspects the search engines look for are, if the links are coming from websites that share the same subject or focus as your website.

Again, this is where the directories provide a strong basis from which to construct your link building strategy, because you can list your website in an appropriate relevant category – with related products or services to yours.

Apart from the link popularity you gain by getting a major or authoritative website to link to you, you will also gain additional visibility and subsequently traffic for your Web site.

Good luck with your link building strategy.

Optimising your web pages for great Pay-Per-Click results

When you pay the search engines per click for traffic, it is a good way to work out very quickly if you have a problem with your website.

While it is vital to your internet marketing strategy that your website has quick load times – it is down right painful if you don’t have optimised landing pages for your Pay-Per-Click marketing!

If you are experiencing poor conversions from your test traffic, one of the first things that you should do is run a Web Page Speed Report for your site.

A great website performance site with a Web Page Analyser is webpageoptimisation.com

The reports will tell your total page sizes including image and script sizes and whether anything needs to optimised. For a user on a dial up connection (in 2008, still up to 30% of some of our site traffic) the site still needs to load fast. Any more than a couple of seconds or so, and you start to lose your customers.

A lot of web designers make the mistake of making the pages too large, because they have a fast broadband connection. Their clients may also have a fast connection, so this aspect can easily go unnoticed.

We also explain web page design on one of our web pages here.

You need to keep your main page images optimized to less than 20KB and if possible down around 13KB. Small logos etc should be only a couple of KB.

Good luck optimising your site.

SEO Target Marketing 1

If you want to have a successful business, you need to make sure that all your company information and advertisements reaches your target audience. This may not be easy, but new techniques that include SEO target marketing can be a great help in attaining your advertising goals.

Survival and growth of a business is greatly dependant on target marketing. Unknowingly or by design, you may already be using target marketing techniques in your advertising campaigns.

Target marketing consists of directing your advertisements and commercials to focus on a particular segment of consumers. If you are selectively placing your commercials and ads on certain websites based on their readers and site contents, it means you are already using target marketing to promote your business. In this scenario SEO target marketing is simply extending, what you are already doing a little further.

SEO Target Marketing 2

During target marketing your main aim is to invite the right traffic, which really means such people, who may be interested and looking for whatever product you have on offer. It is therefore of utmost important that all the content that you provide on your website is directly related to the product or service, which you are offering to consumers. Not only that, your content should also be interesting and informative. So, if your site is about painting, make sure that you do not add content related to gardening or something else that is irrelevant to what your site is about.

Search engine optimization better known as SEO is a system, which requires preparation of your site’s content, in a way that makes it keyword rich i.e. including specific keywords that may be found easily by search engine robots. This lets search engines index your site quickly. In order to know, which keywords or key phrases will best suit your type of business with respect to search engine optimization, you can take help from a number of SEO websites and marketing tools that are easily available today. Once you decide upon the keywords and phrases relevant to your business from the SEO point of view, you can start in earnest on a target marketing plan.

Making Money Online With Click Bank

Click bank is the most well-known and popular affiliate program to earn money online. You must have seen ads flashing on the net to help you change your fortune by becoming a member of the affiliate network. This may not need much investment. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. There are several products on the click bank site that you can promote and earn good profits. Simply create an account and log on to visit an online market.

Click bank can be well termed as online marketing, as you will find variety of products put up for sale. After creating an account, you can choose any of the products to promote them. Always be cautious, when choosing any product. There are millions of products available leaving you with many options. Go for the products that pay you higher. However at the same time, these products should not be very common, since there will be several people selling the same products reducing your chances to earn profits. It is good to make a research concerning these

products that would be available and which could most easily be sold. Choose rare products to sell, which would offer good value in return.

Once you have selected your product, you need to start promoting it. The best way you can promote it is to write reviews on it, and offer samples to receive customers’ feedback. You can purchase the product first, test it and then write a proper review on the same to let customers know, how it can benefit them. Your review should give the readers a complete detail about the product and how it would satisfy them. Remember when a customer has to make a purchase, he/she will always think, how the product will suit them. Thus always write about the benefits and gains the customers would have.

Making Money Online With Click Bank 2

You can also create blogs and script articles on your website concerning the product. Also put your link, so that after looking at the review, the readers can immediately click on the link and take a look at the product. This will help you turn readers into buyers. Also create a feedback page, where customers can share their comments concerning the products. You can also use these comments to advertise the product by letting other readers know how the product has benefited other users. Always ask the browsers to leave their contact details like the email address, so that you can email them concerning the details of the product. Add a link to the product in the mail that will help them view it.

You would need to constantly promote your website, as well as the products you choose to sell. Thus do not relax your nerves after choosing a product and expect an automatic sale. You need to be creative and unique, especially when there are more than 2 sellers for the same product. You need to reach to the prospects before others do and leave a better impression. Giving better customer service will help you to have loyal customers. Keep in touch with your customers through mails or chats and offer them complete assistance.

Be creative and find different ways to promote your products. You can also post articles and blogs on popular directories along with a link attached to your website. This is one of the best ways to earn money. After you have been in the market for long, you can build your own network and employ other people to do marketing and promotion for you, while you enjoy earning high perks.

Digg-ing for SEO success

In case you haven’t been on the Internet for the past year or so, there has been a tremendous amount of attention being captured by social networking sites such as Digg.

As Digg explains things, it is “a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web.”

So, what does this have to with Search Engine Marketing?

There is a phenomena called the Digg effect, which can bring a ton of traffic to your site in a small amount of time – sometimes within minutes.

Everything on Digg, from news to videos to images — is submitted by the digg community. Once something is submitted, other people see it and Digg what they like best. If your submission receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to the front page for millions of visitors to see.

While digg readers despise seo-planted stories, if you do have something topical or free to use or even something that’s just cool, you won’t feel the wrath of the digg community, and end up with your post getting buried.

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